By the President of the United States of America
Families have always stood at the center of our society, preserving good and worthy traditions from our past and entrusting those traditions to our children, our greatest hope for the future. At a time when many fear that the family is in decline, it is fitting that we give special recognition to those who are rebuilding families by promoting adoption.
More children with permanent homes mean fewer children with permanent problems. That is why we must encourage a national effort to promote the adoption of children, and particularly children with special needs. Through the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, some 6,000 children have been adopted who otherwise might not have been, and the number is growing. The recently enacted Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act will provide further assistance to couples who adopt children with special needs.
We must never forget those couples who know the anguish of prolonged waiting to welcome an adopted child into their home. One aspect of the tragedy of the 1.5 million abortions performed each year is that so many women who undergo abortions are unaware of the many couples who desperately want to share their loving homes with a baby. No woman need fear that the child she carries is unwanted. We must continue to promote constructive alternatives to abortion through the Adolescent Family Life program and by encouraging the efforts of private citizens who are helping women with crisis pregnancies.
National Adoption Week gives us an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to give every child waiting to be adopted the chance to become part of a family. During this Thanksgiving season, let us work to encourage community acceptance and support for adoption and take time to recognize the efforts of the parent groups and agencies that assure adoptive placements for waiting children. Most importantly, let us pay tribute to those special couples who have opened their homes and hearts to adopted children, forming the bonds of love that we call the family.
The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 238, has designated the week of November 19 through November 25, 1984, as "National Adoption Week" and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.
Now, Therefore, L Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of November 19 through November 25, 1984, as National Adoption Week, and I call on all Americans and governmental and private agencies to observe the week with appropriate activities.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this thirteenth day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.